How to re-decorate a bedroom on a serious budget

If if you are anything like me, and LOVE LOVE LOVE to feel proud of the home you own, you will be riddled with that same burning need to re-decorate every season. Similar to clothes, when the season changes so do our styles, your home will follow the   cycle. It’s all good flicking through House Beautiful magazine & craving the new Chesterfields, or Vogue & craving the new clutch bags – but when money aint-a-flowin’, neither will your decor. A usual decoration project can cost £thousands. If you’re not exactly ballin’ right now but want to sleep like a millionaire, check out my top tips below for ‘How to re-decorate a bedroom on a serious budget:

Ok, so – this was the room before I got my claws on it; cold, lifeless, dull:

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Essentially it was for my Husbands spare crap – shoe racks, a random 1990’s TV (I couldn’t actually lift it to throw it out), weights, crappy towels & extra drawers filled with pants & socks only appreciated by the moths inhabiting them. Anyway – this is the room after I sprayed it with a whole load of bargain-hunter goodness:

Budget bedroom

You can’t actually see the entire room here (I played with panoramic settings for about an hour before nearly smashing my phone against my new faux brick wall) but there is actually a gorgeous window with navy blue curtains, a TV on  the wall, a chair in the corner with a throw & a gorgeous gold floor lamp to the side.  I will list these items as we go on to ensure my claim is compliant & fair!

Here’s what I bought throughout the duration of this project & cost:

  • Paint £12.99
  • Tools to paint £10
  • Wallpaper £12
  • Mirror – £15
  • Spray – £11.99
  • Bed – existing
  • Flowers £3.99
  • Pillows & cushion covers x6 £28
  • Drawers x2 £25
  • Varnish & spray £20
  • Lamps x2 £20
  • Vase £10
  • Floor lamp – £16
  • Floor lamp shade – £6
  • Chair – existing
  • Throw – £3.99

First step was to get the Husband to remove the crap. All this time & all it took was a little eye flutter & a cup of tea. Perfect. Once all the rubbish was gone, I could see what I was working with. I inspected the walls, the window sills, the skirting boards. All OK-ish but definitely in need of some TLC. Before I made any decisions on paints or colour schemes, I headed to my most peaceful & perfect place on earth…Pinterest…

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My entire home is filled with blue in some shape or form & I love a good running theme in a home, so blue was a must have. Box 1 – tick! I also knew the back wall was really damaged from a cowboy builder we once employed. I didn’t have the budget to employ a new builder so, best thing to cover cracks & bumpy walls? Brick wallpaper. Why? The pattern of  the brick tricks the eye to only see the pattern the bricks form, rather than flat painted wallpaper which can highlight lumps & bumps. It’s kind of similar to when you’ve gained some extra pounds & somehow, the only things that are remotely flattering are those with patterns. Anything light & plain will only show the wobbly bits you’re desperate to hide…Box 2 – ticked! I also love pink & gold with navy blue, so the colour theme was an easy choice for me.

Find your theme on Pinterest & make sure to keep the theme embedded in your mind before you make any irrational purchases!

For me, I first needed to prep the room before I could do any of the real fun stuff. I prepped the walls & skirting and then sanded them down. For further info on prepping walls prior to painting check out this video tutorial here

Get yourself a can of one-coat paint. These can be pretty pricey, but I picked up Homebase One-Coat for £12.99. Find it here. I painted the walls, skirting & window sills with the stuff – it was great! No chips, durable & perfect for wall & wood surfaces.

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Next, covering the damaged wall. I knew I wanted the bed to be rested against that wall so the wall needed to be inviting. The door of the bedroom opens to the left, so naturally you look to the right, meaning my poor wall was a focal point. I found brick wallpaper in Homebase for £4  per role on sale. I bought three roles just to be safe but only used two. For more info on brick wallpaper & how to lay it, click here.

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Once the wall paper was up & the walls painted, the project cost had come to £25. BONUS. Next job was to make it look pretty!

The room already had a bed & bedding but to make it a true guest bedroom, it needed bedside drawers, 2x bedside lamps, curtains & cushions.

I used the mobile bootsale app ‘shpock‘ to purchase the two drawer units which were perfect height for bedside drawers. They originally came from IKEA for £20 (find them here) but I picked them up for a bargain half price at £20 for both. I had to collect in person from the owner who lived about an hour away, so petrol included lets call that £25.

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I have a personal affliction towards pine, so I had to do something with them. I reverted back to my Pinspiration & noticed the drawers were walnut & white. PLAN BATMAN.

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I took out the drawers and sprayed them white matt with simple spray paint for £10. Find some similar here. 6 drawers took one can & they needed three coats each. The paint dried super quick though – just a quick tea break in between coats & jobs-a-gooden. TOP TOP: spray about 30cm away from the drawer. Any closer & you may end up with paint blobs all over the surface which you will need to sand off again, wasting time, effort, paint, and more importantly – money! 

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Next, I varnished the outer frame of the drawers with Wilkinson own Walnut wood varnish for £10. I only needed one can, and again, both drawers needed about three coats each. TOP TIP: sand in-between coats to make the surface super smooth. You’d hate for your guests to get splinters for simply turning the light off! 

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Whilst in Wilkinson’s buying varnish, I picked up some pretty cute little lamps for £10 each & a gold vase for another £10.

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Wilko Oasis Hammered Large Gold Vase
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Wilko With Love Lamp

Find Wilko With Love Lamps for yourself here  & Oasis Large Gold Vase here.

I wanted to add the colour theme in using accessories, to make sure I could always change it again if that craving took hold of me in a few months time. I decided on dark curtains to make sure guests could get a good night sleep without waking from daylight. I found navy blue curtains in IKEA for £30 for a pair. They’re super long and hefty. They don’t look or feel as cheap as they were! Great deal for us – pick them up here. 

I LOVE a trip to IKEA, but, TOP TIP: always go to IKEA with a list – and stick to it! Don’t be like me and pick up nick-nacks you don’t need! Stu found a lunch box in the kiddie section that he loved… another thing to hoard! 

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Anyway, I found some perfect cushions & covers to go with the scheme.

blue
IKEA SANELA £9
pink
IKEA SENELA £5
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IKEA ORMKAKTUS £3

 

At this point, we’re at a total project cost of £149 & the room is pretty much complete!

The last few touches were really to bring it all together.

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I bought in a chair from the garage & threw over a throw from IKEA + a cushion from my old house that I found in the attic. You can pick up other cool cushions here.

The brick wallpaper wasn’t sitting 100% right with me at this stage. I had spent so much time in the room & it had become overpowering. I needed something to cover some of the pattern up but at this stage I was pretty sure it was between a giant print I had seen on Pinerest or my car insurance.

I decided to nip into my local charity shops & thrift shops over the weekend. I used to go to car boot sales as a kid & pick up second hand baby clothes for my dolls so, I’m pretty nifty at picking up a bargain…

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Luckily, I found this large mirror in Sue Ryder for £15. I mean, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but use your imagination in these places & the world is your oyster.

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I needed to get the gold into the room, so I decided to spray this old brown frame in an antique gold matt. I spray a load of things that I buy, so I had some old gold spray left over, but you can pick up a can from around £7-8 from a WILKO or DIY store. TOP TIP: I have read tons of tutorials on how best to spray your home items, and traditionally, you should unscrew the back nails & remove the mirror from the frame. Well sorry folks, I don’t have time for that kind of faff. My trick? Cling film. cotton buds & white spirit:

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In this case, add cling film to the mirror to protect it from the paint. The BEST thing about cling film is that it’s naturally static so it almost molds itself to the frame shape with minimal effort. Fold the edges of the cling film under and nudge as close as you can to the frame, being considerate to the fact that you want the spray to hit all the edges. Don’t panic about any spray mess on the mirror – you have cotton buds for that!

Next do a walk around your mirror with your spray, making sure to spray under, over and in between. I needed three coats – you may need less depending on the base colour of  the mirror.

Once the paint is dry, remove the film. Pour a little white spirit into the cap of the bottle & dip in your cotton bud. Take the bud to wherever the paint has sprayed onto the mirror and rub a few times. Don’t be afraid to touch the frame with the bud if the spray is close to the edge. It comes off the mirror 1000% quicker than the frame. You’d have to work a lot harder to get the paint off the frame than the mirror itself so rub away!

I then hung my new mirror above the bed as a new focal piece & hey presto – my new guest bedroom was complete..

Budget bedroom

 

Total project cost £210! 

Comment below with your thoughts or questions & don’t forget to share with those you know would find this useful.

Chloe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to lay brick wallpaper like you know what you are doing

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Spare bedroom 1 was my first challenge to get our new home ready for our Christmas festivities with ten of my family members coming to stay. To see the full post on this room checkout ‘How to decorate a room for less than £100’ here.

Brick wallpaper can look incredibly tacky. Or it can look fabulous!

“Creating a fake brick wall that looks convincing requires some nuance. The best way to start is to study a brick wall you like. Note the colour and shape of the bricks; the style, the shade and the style of the mortar; and the installation pattern. Many walls for instance, have regularly repeating rows where the bricks are set crosswise rather than lengthwise.” – James Kulp, Brick-It Product Expert

The guest bedroom is a good double size room, light and airy thanks to the large window but host to a number of unnecessary items and, sacking the recent cowboy-builder mid-project meant the walls were also fairly damaged.

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First step was to fill in the cracks in the plaster with filler. This part was tricky as the paste was simply falling off the wall rather than filling in the wall. TOP-TIP: add a little water to the paste & mix. It turns the paste from a crumbly paste to a smooth, wet clay texture & makes filling larger cracks far easier. I used Homebase own brand filler which you can pick up here. For further instructions on filling in walls click here .

Then I used the hand-sander to smooth down the walls. TOP-TIP: there might be a lot of dust filling the room when you sand down the dried paste. Make sure you close the door, open the window & put a shower cap over your hair! Trust me, you’ll age 40 years in a few seconds without it. 

I found brick wallpaper in B&Q for £4 per roll on sale (ker-ching!). For a less budget friendly route & for further advise, checkout Apartment Therapys article on brick wallpaper here.

I bought three roles just to be safe, but I only needed two. TOP-TIP: always check the serial number on the back of the packaging. The manufacturers make different versions which to the naked eye look the same but can look totally different when on the wall. I picked up three roles with three different serial number & had to go back to match them up. You can thank the kind checkout lady for that one! 

I found wallpaper paste for around £8 and I didn’t bother with a brush or smoother. I figured I am usually pretty resourceful and funds are tight. I’d find something in my husbands hoarding collection to use.

First I used the bed base my husband left in the room as a platform to lay out the paper & measure. I appreciate that is  not the most professional method, but, it was the most convenient. For a more professional method, watch here.

Measure the length of the wall from the crack of the ceiling to the tip of the skirting board (if you have them. If not, go to the floor). I added on about 2 inches either end just to be safe with a view to slice of any leftovers at the end.

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I found an old paintbrush in our garage, and used that to paint on the wallpaper paste onto the wall. NOTE: NOT THE WALLPAPER.  TOP TIP: pasting the wallpaper leaves room for missed areas, leading to airbubbles. It also makes the paper much heavier and much harder to manoever when on the wall. Pasting your wall allows the paper to stay light as you lay it on, and allows you to edge it around if you have misplaced it first time around. 

At 5″2, I then stood on my tip-toes on a step ladder and laid the paper on the wall, starting at the top corner and aligning it down the edge of  the wall. I took an old rag and used it to smooth out the paper across the wall from left to right, pushing any excess paste out from under the paper, and wiping it away with the cloth. TOP TIP: Make sure you smooth out in the direction of the uncovered surface to push air bubbles & excess paste towards space that won’t be damaged if paste touches it. 

Then for the next slice. TOP TIP: aligning brick wallpaper can be pretty tricky! Don’t assume that the next slice you cut will match up. The aim of the game is to make sure all the bricks look as genuine as possible. Take your roll of paper and hold it against the top of your pasted slice. Keep rolling the paper down until you find the part where the bricks match up perfectly. Fold the roll down in that spot so you remember when you measure out for cutting. 

Again, add two inches either end and cut with scissors or a Stanley knife if you have one. Repeat step one and lay down. Keep going until you end up with this:

 

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TOP TIP: If your wall is like mine and has sockets, lay the wallpaper loosely over the top and use a Stanley knife to edge over the top of the ridges. This will give you a guide to where the socket will be when it is fully laid. Start from  the top and smooth out the paper until you reach the socket. Then carve out the socket from behind the paper and smooth down immediately around the socket to avoid any hidden air bubbles. 

For wallpaper inspiration click here

For more methods on wallpaper click here

Have a go,  let me know in the comments how you get on!

Chloe x

Final room
Final room

Find out how I completed the guest bedroom 0n a serious budget here